Norton Anti Virus 2009 Review

Norton Anti Virus 2009 Review

One of the most popular companies responsible for quality virus protection software would undoubtedly have to be Symantec, the makers of Norton Anti-Virus protection.

It just so happens that we were interested enough in their newest creation to do a detailed review over it and pass this information over to you. so without further ado, this is what you can expect from Norton this year.

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Let’s start with the installation:

Installation process is admirable. The only thing you need to do is click one big button that says that you agree to the license- after that, the software is fast and happens automatically.

From the first click to the installed product launching took a minute and a half when we timed it; activation just took another one minute. The initial Live Update of malware definitions required one more minute. Whole process took place in an amazing 4 minutes.

The Interface:

The user interface is sleek and simplified. The main window includes a nice huge CPU usage meter that independently tracks system-wide usage and usage specific by Norton. When the system seems to slow down; you give a quick look to see who is to be blamed.


This latest product by Symantec unlike the past products makes sure that you get top-notch performance without eating away the system resources.

Process like downloading new virus definition or scanning for malware can significantly slow down the system, so the product performs these tasks when the system has been idle for a while, more specifically 10 minutes.

A link located at the top of CPU meter opens a detailed display of CPU and memory usage over the last 90 minutes. Typically you’ll see a steep rise in Norton specific CPU use during times marked on the chart as idle. The software also contains a log showing you when various tasks last ran.

There is another performance tool located below CPU meter that can be accessed by a link. Another awesome feature is the Norton Insight, speeding the malware scanning by indentifying files that can be trusted. All executables are checked against a huge data base containing trusted programs.

Also there is a display showing files that it has exempted.  The full scans become faster after Insight completes its assessment. This full system check if not manually launched occurs during the system idle time.

Norton adds about 15 seconds to the boot time when compared to the system running without the Norton installed. This is not too much and is about the same when compared to some of the other standard leading AV in the market.


Live Updates takes place every 8 hours to get most up to-date definition and signatures. To protect against nasty threats that spread much faster than than 8 hours, pulse updates checks for signatures after every few minutes.

Additional Security:

Antiphishing is a feature that checks for frauds, parental controls checks for inappropriate content, and malware protection is also quite impressive.

Compared to the  ZoneAlarm’s 30 percent to Kaspersky’s 65 percent  Norton  only increased the browsing  time to 13 percent to the time, which is quite impressive.

The big self-determining antivirus testing labs all certify the efficiency of Symantec’s antivirus technology. West Coast Labs and ICSA Labs certify it for both detection and cleaning, and West Coast also confirms its Trojan horse detection ability.

European lab AV-Comparatives tested the 2008 edition’s ability to detect and remove known malware as well as to proactively spot malware without using signatures.

AV-Comparatives rated it Advanced+ (the top rating) for signature-based detection but just Standard (the lowest passing grade) for proactive detection.

AV-Test, another European lab, tested both the 2008 and 2009 editions in August and rated them in a dozen significant areas. The 2008 edition received Satisfactory, Good, or Very Good on all tests, with Very Good being the highest rating in all the areas.

The 2009 edition was rated Good or Very Good in every category a significant improvement. Norton’s antivirus scans files on access, on demand, and on schedule.

However, the scheduled scan is turned off by default, because real-time protection and the automatic idle-time scan render it unnecessary.

Those who wish can schedule full or custom scans to run on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, or to run at start-up or log-on, but it really isn’t necessary.

We installed Norton on a dozen systems infested with malicious software of many types, among them adware, spyware, rootkits, Trojans, worms, and rogue antispyware. Its speedy installation was a great bonus. Also the fact that it doesn’t require a reboot after installation.

Norton’s installation went effortlessly on all of the infested test systems, though there were a couple of obstructions during the cleanup process.  Scanning on any standard clean test system took 50 minutes, quite a bit longer than most others. Usually 30 minutes is about average, and ZoneAlarm managed the job in just 20.

However, that was before Norton Insight had finished processing. After Norton Insight identified 90 percent of the files as trusted. A rescan took 5 minutes, which quite impressive.

Overall Conclusion:

We evaluate the Norton Anti-Virus as one of the best Anti-virus currently available in the market- matching performance to some of the best products.

With significant increase in performance hats-off to Symantec for producing the best product yet. The top- notch security the product offers, after installation we may no longer fear any deadly viruses or other malicious software.

For those of you, who still believe that Norton cannot be quick and light on resources, think twice before making another prejudice opinion. Definitely, a recommended product worth your money!

System Requirements:  (obtained from the official website)

Microsoft® Windows Vista® Home Basic/Home Premium/Business/Ultimate*
Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 and later Home/Professional/ Media Center Edition
Microsoft® Windows 7 ready***

  • 300 MHz or faster processor
  • 256 MB of RAM (**512 MB RAM required for the Recovery Tool)
  • 150 MB of available hard disk space.

Email scanning supported for POP3- and SMTP-compatible email clients.

Required for all installations:

CD-ROM or DVD drive (if not installing via electronic download)
Support for AntiSpam feature

  • Microsoft Outlook® 97 or later
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0 or later

Browser support for Browser Protection feature

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 32-bit 6.0 or higher
  • Mozilla Firefox® 2.0 or higher

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*Must meet minimum Windows Vista operating system requirements.
**Tested on AMD 1600+ CPU based PC with Windows XP Service Pack 2, and without security software previously installed.
***Microsoft Windows 7 compatibility update to be delivered online, and is subject to production release of the Windows 7 operating system within the service period. For more information, go to See Microsoft for Windows 7 system requirements.

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